It sure would be nice if we, as marketers, had unlimited budgets and wouldn’t ever have to worry about spending too much on campaigns. But probably not even giants in the affiliate industry like Amazon Associates or CJ Sales have that luxury. And in the current pandemic times, every penny counts even more. So if you are currently racking your brain over the question “where should I spend my affiliate budget?”, you are not alone.
There are hundreds of channels you can use for affiliate marketing and even more tools you can purchase to reduce your workload. So, where should you invest your hard-earned money in order to achieve the best results?
In this blog post, we’ll discuss six places where it might be worth investing your time and money.
Take advantage of social media advertising
Nowadays, it’s not a secret that you should have a social media account to get the word out about your products and deals if you want to get your brand noticed. By creating and sharing relevant content, posting regularly, and interacting with your followers, you can slowly build a name for yourself in a chosen niche. What else can you do to place your brand in front of other people? The answer is to use social media ads.
Whether you want to increase your brand’s visibility on the market, find people who match your ideal target audience, or simply increase sales, you can put yourself right in front of millions of people by creating an ad campaign. What makes social media ads more useful than regular ads is that they are highly targeted. If you are selling a product or service intended for a particular group of people, then you can define who you want to see your ads while creating them. You can select the target group’s age, location, job position, or hobbies and interests. This way you can promote your posts or show video ads only to those people who are most likely to be interested in them.
On Twitter, you can promote your posts to appear in the search results or news feeds of users who recently searched for a given topic or hashtag. Facebook advertising meanwhile gives you the option to create a carousel ad where you can add up to 10 images or videos of your products.
Worried that using social media ads can put a dent in your budget? That’s actually not a problem – you can easily track how much you have spent on advertisements inside the ad panel. If you have a tight budget, then it might be a good idea to set a daily ad spending limit or a fixed amount of money that you can afford to pay for the duration of the ad. By doing so, your ads will stop running after hitting the scheduled limit each day. So there’s no risk of overspending.
Start a collaboration with niche influencers and affiliates
To get a bit more out of your marketing budget, you could also think about working together with niche influencers. Why niche and not “big names” with millions of followers? Well, the first thing is that getting a famous Instagram celebrity or renowned blogger to promote your products would cost you a pretty penny. Plus, while their numbers of followers overall might look impressive, engagement rates might be much, much lower. This means far fewer people will see the posts and even less will interact with them relative to what you paid for.
Meanwhile, asking a tech enthusiast or an upcoming blogger who has “only” around 10-30k followers on their channel will be kinder to your budget yet can still produce you comparable results. Micro-influencers and niche followers are usually highly engaged people who are genuinely interested in the topic and regularly respond to what influencers post. They aren’t seen as celebrities but more like friends, and so their niche recommendations are much more likely to be heard by their followers.
And since micro-influencer are much cheaper to work with, you can work with them more often. You can also reach out to other niche influencers and work with more than just one.
Drive sales with special offers for affiliate managers
Customers love the power of discounts, coupons, and unique “only now” promotions. They might have already decided to buy a product or service, but many of them will first do a quick check on the internet to see if there are coupons or promotions to help them save money before clicking on the “Confirm order” button. And if a coupon is available on your affiliate blog or website, then it’s a triple win – customers are delighted to spend less or get something extra with their orders, your affiliates earn commission, and you make those all-important sales.
Coupons and discounts work especially well if you want to get people to try out a new product. If they don’t know much about it or it seems expensive to them, potential customers might hesitate to click on the affiliate link and pay for the product. But if you offer them a discount or something extra added to their first purchase, then they’re more likely to take a chance.
Even better is to use a “special offer” or unique discount coupon as a reward for your best-performing affiliates. Being able to offer something no one else has is sure to attract the attention of their followers, which means those affiliates can earn more.
Optimize your landing pages
To complete their purchases, customers need to visit your landing page first and then confirm their order.s But if the landing page they are on is cluttered, loads slowly, or product descriptions (and prices) are different to those which an affiliate mentioned on their page, then customers might not think long about leaving the page without purchasing anything. Suppose you notice that your affiliates report clicks on their affiliate links, but you don’t see conversions afterward. In that case, taking a closer look at your landing page and tweaking it to make it easier to use for your customers might just do the trick.
For the basics, check whether or not:
- Your landing page loads quickly and smoothly (both on desktops and mobiles)
- There’s enough information to convince a customer to try out the product (but without overwhelming them)
- Photos are high-quality and optimized for quick loading
- There’s a visible CTA button clearly telling visitors what they should do next
- You don’t have anything that could distract your visitors from converting (several offers, animations, links to other articles, etc.)
Next, we would recommend creating and then A/B testing different parts of your landing page – the CTA button, headline, colors, copy, and so on. Those tests should tell you quite a lot about what your website visitors like, which would make it easier for you to tailor the landing page to their expectations.
Test and purchase tools for your affiliate marketing
To run affiliate campaigns with success and keep an eye on your affiliates, you need to have your own set of useful tools to help you manage all of your daily tasks. Okay, you could technically do everything by yourself rather than spend money on subscriptions for tools. But posting on social media, tracking ad results, mailing your affiliates with product updates, keeping in contact with influencers, and monitoring your landing page metrics seems like quite a lot of work for one person.
Here’s where arming yourself with a couple of useful tools will surely come in handy. For example, if you had an email marketing platform then you wouldn’t have to worry about sending newsletters to your subscribers by yourself – you could set up an automated email sequence to send the newsletter to all of your subscribers exactly at the time you schedule. Or, if you spend too much time creating, publishing, and tracking metrics on your social media channels, a social media scheduler can help you post consistently and have those all-important social media metrics right on your dashboard.
When it comes to gathering all the relevant data for your affiliate campaigns and making sure all your affiliates are taken care of, there’s a helpful tool for that as well.
Post Affiliate Pro can automatically collect data from all of your affiliate channels and store them inside the platform, so you will never have to worry about missing the results of your latest campaign or affiliates’ performance. What’s more, you can hand over running payrolls and performance rewards to the platform by creating a schedule for commission payments to your affiliates and they will be automatically sent out every time the criteria is met.
There are so many different tools on the market that it’s pretty easy to get confused about which tool your affiliate program actually needs, though. This is why we recommend taking some tools for a test drive first, to make sure they are useful for your everyday job, and then picking the ones that suit your needs best.
Affiliate marketing might be one of the cheapest possible marketing strategies, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to worry about your budget for it. Whether you promote your brand through social media ads or hire an influencer for a campaign, it can still cost you without guaranteeing any decent results – so do your research first.
Once you have one or more strategies listed above up and running, though, you may see that they produce far more than just a return on costs – you can have happier customers and affiliates as well.
Frequently asked questions
Is social media important in advertising?
Social media is among the most determining factors of success for most companies in the modern age.
What is the cheapest marketing strategy?
Affiliate marketing is one of the cheapest marketing strategies around. With minimal effort and massive gains, affiliate marketing will give you the best return on investment.